Examining the Issues
By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:
1. Describe current research regarding the effect of teaching about and distributing condoms in school.
2. Identify the attitudes, values and concerns of people who oppose and people who support teaching about condoms and distributing condoms in schools.
3. Consider reasons why condom distribution in schools might (or might not) be a good idea.
Nationwide, health professionals, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are promoting the correct and consistent use of condoms as the major strategy for reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections. As a result, school boards are faced with controversial decisions about the role of schools in this promotion effort. Some people believe that intercourse outside of marriage is morally wrong, and they argue young people should be taught abstinence until marriage is the behavior expected of them. Other people argue that since the majority of American youth will initiate sexual intercourse during their teen years, it is imperative that schools take an active stand promoting condoms through education and distribution. This lesson is designed to help participants examine this national controversy by reviewing the research and interviewing a sample of adults. It provides a model for studying any controversial issue by examining the facts, identifying the beliefs and values on different sides, and working out a personal position.